The text string "Network services, Internet style" is found in the first line of the file /etc/services on a computer running Ubuntu 11.04

erik@laptop:~$ head -1 /etc/services
# Network services, Internet style

Do you know if there is some web site where you could query for the text string "Network services, Internet style" and then find out in which Linux distributions and in which files that text string occurs.

I understand that the file tree and file contents of a Linux installation will be different dependent of how you answer the questions during the installation but it would be useful to be able to query a default installation.

The usefulness of searching for the text string "Network services, Internet style" is hard to see, but it is just meant to be seen as an example of what such a web page should be able to search for.

Update: Here are some use cases for such a web site:

If you for instance have been editing a configuration file somewhere under /etc but you forgot how the original version of the configuration file looked like, you could use such a web site (if the web site also let you search for a filename). Most (or maybe all) Linux distributions provide a package system (e.g. rpm and deb) where you could find out the original file content of the configuration file by querying the package system. But that has a higher learning curve than it is to visit a web page.

Sometimes a configuration file may be located under different paths on different Linux distributions. If you know some text string that is to be found inside the configuration file, you could easily find out the path to the filename under different Linux distribution (and also the default file content) by querying the web site.

  • 3
    Why do you need this?
    – Flimzy
    Sep 10, 2011 at 8:53
  • @Flimzy it'd be one way of trying to figure out if a service you are referring to by name in socket operations will work on certain operating systems.
    – polynomial
    Oct 2, 2011 at 18:45
  • 1
    So what you really want is a list of network services that are available for each distribution?
    – Flimzy
    Nov 1, 2011 at 8:11
  • @Flimzy no. To make the question a bit clearer I updated it with some use cases. Nov 24, 2011 at 15:55
  • 1
    @ErikSjölund: Interesting concept. I doubt any such web site exists. Most of that information is available from the packaging system (of course depending on the packaging system). You're right the learning curve is higher, but that's probably the best that can be done.
    – Flimzy
    Nov 24, 2011 at 19:28

2 Answers 2


well, opengrok for opensolaris code base but no opengrok for linux codebase, one could start one however but the cost involved in setting up and maintaining is too greater I suppose. kernel.org maintains only kernel source tarballs. It has been left to the individual distro maker to distribute source code along with the product OS but practices are seldom distribute the source along with the code(I guess debian is an exception and thats why it provides more than 20-30 disks)

There is this : http://lxr.linux.no/

LXR (formerly "the Linux Cross Referencer") is a software toolset for indexing and presenting source code repositories. LXR was initially targeted at the Linux source code, but has proved usable for a wide range of software projects.

Update: Another link I came across is http://fxr.watson.org/ , which has all the popular distro sources cross reference. Pretty useful for systems programmers.

  • besides it could be a nice project in itself-- collaborate with known open&popular distro makers such as fedora/redhat/debian/ubuntu repositories and then start grok'in them for everybody's use. Mostly use for developers, but would they pay for it? Dec 16, 2011 at 11:32
  • do you have access /read-only access to these OS repositories, then it is possible to build self. Dec 16, 2011 at 11:33
  • It seems there is no such web site that I am searching for. I think this answer gives a good tip for how to set up such a web site. Jan 3, 2012 at 8:45
  • Yes. It can be a good venture too if done in a right way. All you need is to grab the source controls, make a copy/distributed pulled copy and just churn the repository metadata by opengrok and then you have entire source code presented to you in a more searchable, navigable with productive yield of references. It can increase the productivity while doing (essential) systems programming. Jan 3, 2012 at 18:05

You could obtain the original versions of config files from a pristine installation of the OS (doing a new install in a virtual machine would do the trick) or from the distribution files of software packages you've installed, depending on which was the original source of the file.

I don't believe the web site you're asking for exists.

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